Hotelier Ian Schrager is looking to launch an EDITION in Broward County, and is scouting sites near the ocean to plant a Public Hotel in Miami.
Meanwhile, developer Richard LeFrak is forging ahead with Biscayne Landing in North Miami, which he calls a “generational land purchase,” and has set a target date of March 13 to open his 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach.
As Miami takes the spotlight as an increasingly hot destination for retail brands, retail rental rates are surging, reaching as high as $200 per square foot in the Design District and $300 per square foot on Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road, said commercial real estate broker and developer Michael Comras. Wynwood, he adds, “offers a tremendous amount of potential.”
Schrager, LeFrak and Comras were among the panelists at the University of Miami’s annual Real Estate Impact Conference on Wednesday afternoon, held at the JW Marriott Marquis in downtown Miami.
During a discussion on “New concepts in lifestyle hotels,” Schrager praised Miami’s growing sophistication, and said he is actively searching along Biscayne Boulevard and in downtown Miami for potential hotel sites. He said he wants to bring a Public Hotel, his hip, “sexy” new brand, to Miami.
“We’re looking to find opportunities on the Biscayne Corridor,” he told the audience of real estate professionals and UM students.
“It’s a world class city,” he said of Miami. “With as good restaurants as anywhere. It has everything great cities of the world have.”
Schrager, who developed the EDITION Miami Beach with Marriott International, said the two-month-old hotel is already operating at double its projected revenue on an annual basis, with food and beverage operations contributing 40 percent to 45 percent of the total. Hotel rooms are bringing in higher margins, however, contributing more to the bottom line.
Worldwide, 20 EDITION hotels are now underway in partnership with Marriott International, Schrager said. “I’d like to do 100 of them,” he said. “I’d like to do as many as possible.”
Now, he is looking at Broward County for an EDITION, he said.
Among other highlights of the conference were sessions on “Retail Evolution and Revolutions,” and “Creating Value: Urban Real Estate and Public Space.”
Ending the event, LeFrak, the keynote speaker, discussed his massive Biscayne Landing development, calling it the “last great thing I have in me.” The 183-acre project has been approved for 4,300 apartments and 1.3 million square feet of commercial space, he said. Adjoining Oleta River State Park, it will have lots of green space, jogging and bike trails, a lifestyle shopping center, school and athletic facilities, he added.
“It’s designed as a community for people who live here,” he said, “not for people who come for three weeks of the year.”